Although Green Lantern has become one of the most iconic superheroes in comic books, many characters have taken on the role, including Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and of course Killowog among others. The upcoming Green Lantern series from HBOMax will include a few of these but will feature one of the most infamous Green Lanterns of all: Guy Gardner. The character was created by John Broome and Gil Kane, and first appeared in Green Lantern #59 (cover-dated March 1968). Long a popular DC Comics key, very few high-grade copies have hit the auction block since the HBOMax Green Lantern series was announced, but there's a beautiful Green Lantern #59 (DC, 1968) CGC NM- 9.2 White pages up for auction this week at the 2021 November 14-15 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122146 at Heritage Auctions.
As explained in Hal Jordan's revised origin in this issue, when Abin Sur crash-landed on Earth and his power ring searched for a successor, it actually found two equally worthy candidates — Jordan and Guy Gardner. Jordan was chosen because he was closer to the crash site, and he was shown in this issue what Gardner would've been like as a Green Lantern. Gardner later became a "backup" Green Lantern, assuming duties when Jordan could not.
The cover of Green Lantern #59 has nothing at all to do with this story, as Guy Gardner was shown to be an able Green Lantern in the issue, and he and Jordan got along well when they met at the end. But ironically, the tone of this cover fits perfectly with the brash character that Guy Gardner would eventually become. Guy as a character rose to infamy as an abrasive jerk, a fact immortalized in the One Punch scene from Justice League International, a moment so legendary that it has become a meme.
Artist Gil Kane based the look of Guy Gardner on actor Martin Milner, best known for his roles on television series such as Route-66 and Adam-12. Actor Finn Wittrock, perhaps best known for roles on American Horror Story, will be playing Guy in the HBOMax series. A CGC 9.8 copy of this issue went for $10,200 in September 2021, but other than that, high grades have been practically unavailable in recent months. Fortunately, there's a beautiful Green Lantern #59 (DC, 1968) CGC NM- 9.2 White pages up for auction this week at the 2021 November 14-15 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122146 at Heritage Auctions.
Green Lantern #59 (DC, 1968) CGC NM- 9.2 White pages. First appearance of Guy Gardner, who will feature prominently in the upcoming Green Lantern TV series. Green Lantern's origin is retold. Abin Sur appearance. Gil Kane cover and art. Murphy Anderson and Sid Greene art. Overstreet 2021 NM- 9.2 value = $800. CGC census 11/21: 46 in 9.2, 66 higher.